zondag, mei 30, 2004

American "Hero" Killed By Fellow Americans

In an ironic twist to the story of America's poster child for the war on terrorism, it was concluded by an Army investigation that football player cum American hero terrorist fighter, Pat Tillman was killed by his own troops.

Last month, when the NFL was hungry for some positive PR during their annual draft, the Army helpfully reported that Tillman, 27, was killed April 22 while leading his team of Army Rangers up a remote southeastern Afghanistan hill to knock out enemy fire that had pinned down other U.S. soldiers. Of course, it takes some of the luster off of the icon of "hero" to note that he was killed by "friendly fire", not by blood thirsty terrorists who were out to destroy America.

For being killed by his own troops, the Army posthumously awarded Tillman the Silver Star, its third-highest award for combat valor, saying Tillman led his Ranger team that day "without regard for his own safety" and was shot and killed heroically trying to save his comrades. (from shooting themselves?) The Army said his actions helped the trapped soldiers maneuver to safety "without taking a single casualty." Hmmm. Doesn't being killed count as taking a casualty?

In any case, Bravo, brave American troops. You've gone out an killed your own hero, a well-intentioned patriot.



Adding fuel to the fires of confusion, manipulation and incompetence, the FBI issued an urgent terror alert to several cities Friday, warning of the prospect of an imminent terrorist attack, but then retracted it when it they realised that the voices Donald Rumsfeld thought he was hearing in his head was not Jesus Christ warning him out of concern for America, but John Ashcroft making promises he couldn't keep.

But this kind of fool-hearted paranoia is exactly not what the world needs. It is precisely this kind of Chicken Little warning which causes cataclysms in the "real" world of the pop music industry. It's bad enough to make false statements about terrorist attacks but when those kind of false statements cause stars like Missy Elliot to scrap her show in Jakarta, well, the disservice done to the population as a whole is immeasurable.

donderdag, mei 27, 2004

U.S. Warns It's Time To Distract Everyone's Attention Again

Desperate for ways to distract the American public for the abject failure of the Bush Administration's policy of invasion and occupation in Iraq and in light of the failure of President Jesus Bush's speech to convince anyone he has any clue about what he or anyone in his Administration is doing about it, Attorney General John Ashcroft told a news conference today that al Qaeda are sure to attack the United States "sometime" in the future, citing "credible intelligence" that the bad guys are sure to be up to something bad behind our backs any day now.

"Incredible intelligence, from nearly every source known to man and our crack intelligence service which has never been wrong yet, indicates that al Qaeda plans to attempt an attack on the United States sometime," Ashcroft, fresh from his war on internet bong sales, announced. "This disturbing intelligence indicates al Qaeda's specific intention to hit the United States hard, like an Antonio Tarver crushing left hand knocking out Roy Jones Jr, or something equally devastating, so watch out!"

Ashcroft said he had no information on where or how any future attacks might occur. "We aren't fortune-tellers, after all. That would be the work of the devil."

He even had this terrifying poster of very scary looking terrorists types who are running around on the loose all over the world at this very moment just waiting for the chance to destroy God and America in one blow.

But he said Al Qaeda -- blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks -- has declared preparations for an attack on the United States were nearly complete like a chef ready to reveal the four course meal.

Ashcroft, who held the news conference with FBI Director Robert Mueller, said al Qaeda may hope another attack might draw a response like that after the March 11 train bombings in Madrid. Those attacks influenced Spain's election and led to withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq.

"Al Qaeda may perceive that a large-scale attack in the United States this summer or fall would lead us to smarten up and vote against former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar too," he said. "Several upcoming events over the next few months may suggest especially attractive targets for such an al Qaeda attack, like every time myself or President Jesus Bush draws a breath."

Upcoming events include the opening the new Walmart in Tugupta, Mississippi; the Group of Eight Satans summit in Sea Island, Georgia in June; the Fourth of July holiday, the Fifth of July which isn't a holiday exactly, but COULD be an important date, regardless, and of course, the Democratic and Republican Party conventions in Boston and New York at the end of the summer which we be filled only with honourable people who don't deserve to die at the hands of craven, Godless terrorists.

Mueller urged Americans to be particularly alert in the coming months. "Keep your eyes and your ears peeled for strange activity kids. If you think your neighbor is a terrorist, do like the brave American forces and kill him or her or his or her children, especially if they are holding some sort of evil terrorist wedding party or worshipping in a mosque," he said. "Unfortunately, we currently do not know what form that threat may take because we are making it all up in order to distract you from the REAL source of all your aggravation and dissatisfaction, the terror campaign of President Jesus Bush."

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said there were no plans to raise the color-coded terror alert level, which is currently set at "yellow" -- the mid-point of the five-point scale -- for an "elevated" risk of attack. However, as always, everyone will be encouraged to buy plenty of duct tape and plastic sheeting.

woensdag, mei 26, 2004

No Role in Shrine Damage, U.S. Says; Clash Kills 13 Iraqis

BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 25 — For the second time this month, the U.S. denied being involved in any killing in Iraq, not bombing of wedding parties, not clashing in the shrine of Imam Ali, one of the holiest sites for Shiite Muslims, none of it.

"It is highly unlikely that there are any American troops or weapons in Iraq at all let alone American troops or weapons in Iraq that are actually killing or destroying anything in that wonderful, free and democratic society filled with thugs and terrorists" said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. "Frankly, it mystifies us how this kind of stuff even gets spread around in the press to begin with."

The shrine in Najaf is extraordinarily sensitive to Shiites, especially those who are using it as a place to hideout from non-existent American troops during non-existent attacks.

Out of the sky, like magic, or an act of God, at least three projectiles struck the shrine's compound today, one hitting a gate in an inner courtyard and injuring at least 12 people.

The other projectiles, possibly mortars, hit a roof on an outlying building and the ground about 10 feet outside the shrine's main wall.

As when the shrine's gold dome was hit by gunfire two weeks ago, Mr. Sadr's supporters and the American military blamed each other for the damage because frankly, there isn't anyone else left to blame.

Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the chief spokesman for the American-led military here, said American troops had not caused the damage.

"No sir, no way did we cause any damage to anything, especially not a holy shrine filled with terrorists and thugs," he said. "It is quite possible that the terrorists and thugs blew themselves up to make it LOOK like we did it, but in reality, we don't have any troops here anyway, so you see, it is quite impossible." General Kimmitt told reporters.

Aides to Mr. Sadr said American mortars had damaged the shrine. And before the shrine was damaged, an aide to Mr. Sadr, Hosam Mosawi, decried the deaths in the two cities, raising as well the fear that the shrines would become the target for American soldiers.

"We will denounce these acts with our blood and our bodies," he said. "Sadly, we are not immune, for all our denunciations and outrage, from bullets and mortars and superior fire power so, well, you can see how far it gets us."

In related news, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the chief spokesman for the American-led military here, continued to deny the Iraqi wedding party wherein several dozens of innocent civilians including women and children were mercilessly slaughtered, saying that American troops had not killed anyone at any wedding parties, only "terrorists and thugs cleverly disguised as happy families celebrating a wedding just so we wouldn't kill them, but they didn't fool us and even though they're dead now and we didn't kill them, well, that's what they get for being terrorists and thugs and not innocent civilians. It's that simple."


White House ignores Iraq critics
"Fuck Em All!" Administration members announce

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. administration is seeking to project a unified, optimistic view of its plan to hand over power to an interim government in Iraq, even as President George W. Bush faces criticism over a strategy many find lacking in crucial details.

In a televised speech on Monday, Bush tried to convince Americans that he has a workable plan for transforming Iraq from a war-torn occupied nation into a beacon of democratic reform for the Middle East region as a whole but that it's a big secret right now because he "doesn't want the terrorists and thugs to find out what he's up to at the moment."

Iraq has proved a liability for Bush's re-election prospects. His job approval ratings are at the lowest point of his presidency and opinion polls show a clear majority of Americans disapprove of his handling of the situation there.

Analysts saw his speech as an effort to counteract daily news of violence and scandal in Iraq by speaking directly to the American people about the nobler aspects of mission.

Bush's half-hour speech also won few admirers in Iraq, where weary residents are bitter after a year of chaos, and drew a mixed reaction at best in the United States.

"If Washington at the political level can't see we have a security problem, I don't know that they're paying close attention."

The White House, which billed the speech as a major address, did not ask the big broadcast networks to carry it live because more people might find out how incompetent their plans really are. Instead, it was seen on hand held camcorders and on a large etch-a-sketch in the Oval Office, according to Nielsen Media Research.

By Tuesday morning, the administration was facing largely critical editorial comment from U.S. newspapers including the Dallas Morning News in the president's home state of Texas, which described the president's plan as "founded on heavy doses of hope and wishful thinking."

But the Administration is not concerned what the media or the American people think.

"We are on a mission from God," fans of President Bush noted at the conclusion of his speech. "And if people can't understand that, or don't like it, well, fuck 'em all. We've got plenty of nukes and we're not afraid to use them!"

dinsdag, mei 25, 2004

Alfonsina Y El Mar
by de Ariel Ramirez y Felix Luna
sung by Mercedes Sosa
The song is dedicated to the memory of the Argentine poet, Alfonsina Storni who, in 1938, dying of cancer, on October 18 took a train to Mar del Plata and stayed in a small hotel. She wrote "Voy a Dormir" (I Am Going to Sleep) on October 20. October 22, she sent the poem to the editorial office of La Nacion. While the public read her poem she, like Virginia Woolf did three years later, committed suicide by walking into the ocean and drowning.

Por la blanda arena
Que lame el mar
Su pequeña huella
No vuelve más
Un sendero solo
De pena y silencio llegó
Hasta el agua profunda
Un sendero solo
De penas mudas llegó
Hasta la espuma.

Sabe Dios qué angustia
Te acompañó
Qué dolores viejos
Calló tu voz
Para recostarte
Arrullada en el canto
De las caracolas marinas
La canción que canta
En el fondo oscuro del mar
La caracola.

Te vas Alfonsina
Con tu soledad
¿Qué poemas nuevos
Fuíste a buscar?
Una voz antigüa
De viento y de sal
Te requiebra el alma
Y la está llevando
Y te vas hacia allá
Como en sueños
Dormida, Alfonsina
Vestida de mar.

Cinco sirenitas
Te llevarán
Por caminos de algas
Y de coral
Y fosforescentes
Caballos marinos harán
Una ronda a tu lado
Y los habitantes
Del agua van a jugar
Pronto a tu lado.

Bájame la lámpara
Un poco más
Déjame que duerma
Nodriza, en paz
Y si llama él
No le digas que estoy, dile que,
Alfonsina no vuelve
Y si llama él
No le digas nunca que estoy
Di que me he ido.

Te vas Alfonsina
Con tu soledad
¿Qué poemas nuevos
Fueste a buscar?
Una voz antigüa
De viento y de sal
Te requiebra el alma
Y la está llevando
Y te vas hacia allá
Como en sueños
Dormida, Alfonsina
Vestida de mar.

zondag, mei 23, 2004

President Plans Drive To Rescue Iraq Policy
Speeches, U.N. Action Will Focus on Future

President Jesus Bush will launch an ambitious campaign tomorrow night to shift attention from recent ominous failures and setbacks that have eroded domestic and international support for U.S. policy in Iraq, particularly the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the escalating violence, and focus instead how wonderful Jesus is.

The president will open a tightly orchestrated public relations effort in a speech at the Army War College outlining U.S. plans for the critical five weeks before the limited transfer of political power June 30. "We won't let thugs and terrorists dictate our stupidity," he said. "We can do it well enough on our own."

The White House then intends to circulate this week a draft U.N. resolution on post-occupation Iraq, painting it as a holiday paradise, and wrap up negotiations with Iraqis on an interim government and begin shoring up the last few remaining members of the coalition to ensure that other foreign forces also stay after June 30, U.S. officials said.

"There's a sense that this week is our chance to create some movement in a different direction. We'll start talking about the beauty of our fantasies, not reality, by focusing on the U.N. resolution that we've previously treated with contempt. Sure there'll still be plenty of arguments, and sure, we'll start them and ignore them thereafter, but it will be about the future, how we can kill more Arabs, more quickly and more efficiently that's a healthy change," said a senior State Department official who would speak only on condition of anonymity.

The diplomatic campaign is a response to serious reversals over the past two months and to growing turmoil as even idiots, like Americans, begin to realise how stupid the plans for invasion and global domination and control over fossil fuel was to begin with. Last week alone, the U.S.-appointed president of the Iraqi Governing Council was assassinated and a cabinet official was almost killed in a suicide bombing; in a disputed episode, more than 40 people were killed by U.S. troops at what Iraqis said was a wedding party (of course, we all know they were terrorists and thugs, wedding or not, even terrorists and thugs get married); and 16 arrest warrants were issued for aides or associates of Ahmed Chalabi, a longtime Pentagon favorite to help lead postwar Iraq, on charges related to financial issues, leading him to sever ties with the U.S.-led coalition.

The road ahead is a dead end.

France and Germany dare urge that any new U.N. resolution stipulate a cutoff date for U.S. and foreign forces in Iraq. Killing might be fun, but at some point, people begin to be angered by it and distracting them from reality becomes more and more difficult, apparently.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) criticized Bush's plans for Iraq's future as imprecise. "I am very hopeful that the president and his administration will articulate precisely what is going to happen as much as they can, day by day, as opposed to a generalization," the Associated Press quoted Lugar as saying yesterday at Tufts University. "Then again, they've not planned anything beyond the furtherance of anarchie and thus, I don't believe there's any hope for anyone in Iraq, save for those who revel in its destruction."

In the first of at least six presidential speeches on convincing Idiot America that he isn't a maniac and terrorist himself, Bush will particularly try to counter growing criticism that Washington has lowered the goal posts for its year-long occupation, U.S. officials said. Critics and Iraq experts have charged that the administration has backed down from its original pledge to create a strong new democracy that would be a catalyst for a broad political transformation in the Middle East and is instead settling on an exit strategy that will leave a fragile government unable to protect itself.

"Jesus does not believe in gay marriage, but he's all for killing innocent civilians in the name of fighting the 'war' on terrorism. He does not like thugs and terrorists unless they are fighting in His name," said a White House official who insisted on anonymity.

Bush will also explain the U.S. security and political roles after June 30 until Iraq winds up the second of the three phases -- kill as many Iraqis as you can get away with and sexually abuse those you can't -- in the transition to a permanent government by the end of 2005, U.S. officials said. "He'll talk about his love for Jesus and his love for sexually abusing terrorists and thugs," said the White House official.

After the Bush speech, the administration will circulate the text of a new U.N. resolution pledging to transfer "total anarchy" to Iraq, compromise language addressing Iraqi and European requests that the United States not retain any powers after June 30, U.S. officials said. To get around French and German demands, the United States may offer to give Iraq the authority to decide whether it wants to kill itself or to allow America to do it for themforeign forces to continue to provide security, the official officially said.

The general U.S. hope is that the media will stop focusing on death and destruction and sexual abuse and will allow President Jesus Bush to get on with his work of saving mankind from itself in time for him to destroy it.

donderdag, mei 20, 2004

Link and the Whole World Links With You

Ah, so the savoury bits of rural Warwickshire life are too tantalising to completely masticate in one mouthful and world events seem predictably renewable (days without picking up a newspaper without interruption are inevitably interrupted by a peeping tom curiosity of the world's reported events, "oh, that again", before putting it back down and returning to the idle gaze at sheep and cattle going about their grass eating and subtle noises) so we must now shake up the hi-fi and let the world of links back into the picture, rely upon others to yank us through the vodka-starry nights of a Siberian Soul Express...


**For those who have grown weary of neither parody nor all things Friedman, global expert of his own opinion, there is the create your own Thomas Friedman Op-Ed column brought to you by McSweeney's, discovered via Maud Newton...

**I like this idea, good news Saturdays 2004 from Winds of Change:

"Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath. In that spirit, our Saturday posts to this blog will always be "good news". We'll share wisdom from groups like the Sufis, Hasidim and Zen Masters, highlight the acts of good and decent people, laugh at humourous events, and point to amazing discoveries that could benefit humanity. It's a great break from the week, and something I think the blogosphere could use more of."

But since I already celebrate Saturdays snout first in a pint of beer, leering over at the Premiership match unfolding on a large screen television in the village pub as the rain pours down outside and I thank God again for hops and football and days away from wretched news of the human capacity for self-destruction and Saturdays become little more than an anesthetiser of Sundays, I will celebrate the Good News Saturdays in ordinary fashion because it pleases my masses...

**Goddamnit! I knew there was something wrong with Modern Literature!

"Stendhal once famously compared the novel to a mirror being carried down the road, innocently catching all the angles of life. By contrast, Wood argues, contemporary novelists too often treat their pages more like flypaper, ready to cling on to any randomly floating bits of cultural debris: 'How to make the best Indonesian fish curry! The sonics of the trombone! The drug market in Detroit! The history of strip cartoons!'

**Poemas de Pablo Neruda:

Para que tú me oigas
mis palabras
se adelgazan a veces
como las huellas de las gaviotas en las playas.

**Always interesting, through the eyes of Satan's Laundromat

Jaapstijl Looking to buy cheap affordable medications?
Looking to buy cheap erections?
Looking to buy cheap, unaffordable medications?
Looking to buy sheep on medication?
Looking to buy expensive affordable lifestyles cut out of magazines?
Looking to buy cheap explosives?
Looking to buy terrorists hiding in caves?
Looking to buy cheap whores?
Looking to buy cheap sheep hormones on affordable wives?
Or just looking?

**For those long drawn out evenings at home, the eyes still blurrily sodden with Cognac and sunset, draw down the shades and get ready for Bush vs Kerry Bareknuckle Boxing!

**From the Plot Never Seems To Thicken and The Broken Record Keeps Skipping Department:

by Walt Whitman (from *Memoranda During the War*, 1875.)

"In one of the late movements of our troops in the valley, (near Upperville, I think,) a strong force of Moseby's mounted guerillas attack'd a train of wounded, and the guard of cavalry convoying them. The ambulances contain'd about 60 wounded, quite a number of them officers of rank. The rebels were in strength, and the capture of the train and its partial guard after a short snap was effectually accomplish'd. No sooner had our men surrender'd, the rebels instantly commenced robbing the train and murdering
their prisoners, even the wounded. Here is the scene or a sample of it, ten minutes after. Among the wounded officers in the ambulances were one, a lieutenant of regulars, and another of higher rank. These two were dragg'd out on the ground on their backs, and were now surrounded by the guerillas, a demoniac crowd, each member of which was stabbing them in different parts of their bodies. One of the officers had his feet pinn'd firmly to the ground by bayonets stuck through them and thrust into the ground. These two officers, as afterwards found on examination, had receiv'd about twenty such
thrusts, some of them through the mouth, face, &c. The wounded had all been dragg'd (to give a better chance also for plunder,) out of their wagons; some had been effectually dispatch'd, and their bodies were lying there lifeless and bloody. Others, not yet dead, but horribly mutilated, were moaning or groaning. Of our men who surrender'd, most had been thus maim'd or slaughter'd. . . .

Multiply the above by scores, aye hundreds -- verify it in all the forms that different circumstances, individuals, places, could afford -- light it with every lurid passion, the wolf's, the lion's lapping thirst for blood -- the passionate, boiling volcanoes of human revenge for comrades, brothers slain -- with the light of burning farms, and heaps of smutting, smouldering black embers -- and in the human heart everywhere black, worse embers -- and you have an inkling of this war."

**1/0 the birth of a comic strip becoming a comic strip becoming a comic strip...via Left Blank

**It doesn't really matter that Super Size Me won the Best Director of the Sundance Film Festival 2004. What really matters is that the website has a very very familiar little game called Burger Man.

And so on it goes. The missing links.

woensdag, mei 19, 2004

The Next Sound You Hear Will Be The Shit Hitting The Fan
"Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do"

Slowly but surely a different sort of truth is emerging about the Roots of Torture as uncovered by a Newsweek investigation:

"But a NEWSWEEK investigation shows that, as a means of pre-empting a repeat of 9/11, Bush, along with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft, signed off on a secret system of detention and interrogation that opened the door to such methods. It was an approach that they adopted to sidestep the historical safeguards of the Geneva Conventions, which protect the rights of detainees and prisoners of war. In doing so, they overrode the objections of Secretary of State Colin Powell and America's top military lawyers—and they left underlings to sweat the details of what actually happened to prisoners in these lawless places. While no one deliberately authorized outright torture, these techniques entailed a systematic softening up of prisoners through isolation, privations, insults, threats and humiliation—methods that the Red Cross concluded were "tantamount to torture."

"The Bush administration created a bold legal framework to justify this system of interrogation, according to internal government memos obtained by NEWSWEEK. What started as a carefully thought-out, if aggressive, policy of interrogation in a covert war—designed mainly for use by a handful of CIA professionals—evolved into ever-more ungoverned tactics that ended up in the hands of untrained MPs in a big, hot war. Originally, Geneva Conventions protections were stripped only from Qaeda and Taliban prisoners. But later Rumsfeld himself, impressed by the success of techniques used against Qaeda suspects at Guantanamo Bay, seemingly set in motion a process that led to their use in Iraq, even though that war was supposed to have been governed by the Geneva Conventions. Ultimately, reservist MPs, like those at Abu Ghraib, were drawn into a system in which fear and humiliation were used to break prisoners' resistance to interrogation."

Jumping on the same band wagon, or a band wagon with very similar wheels, and coming on the heels of this revelation is more details about the sort of business the War on Terror was busy negotiating:

The Denver Post has broken a story from documents obtained from the Pentagon regarding the brutal interrogation techniques by U.S. military personnel are being investigated in connection with the deaths of at least five Iraqi prisoners in war-zone detention camps

"In the case of Iraqi Major General Abed Hamed Mowhoush, who headed Saddam Hussein's air force, intelligence officers' role was documented in abuse that soon turned fatal, documents show,

Mowhoush, considered a "high-priority target," turned himself in for questioning in November, according to documents. After two weeks in custody at an Al Qaim detention facility, northwest of Baghdad, two soldiers with the 66th Military Intelligence Company, slid a sleeping bag over his body, except for his feet, and began questioning him as they rolled him repeatedly from his back to his stomach, the documents show.

Then, one of the soldiers, an interrogator, sat on Mowhoush's chest and placed his hands over the prisoner's mouth, according to the report: "During this interrogation, the (general) became non-responsive, medics were called and he was later pronounced dead." According to the documents, "The preliminary report lists the cause of death as asphyxia due to smothering and chest compressions."

Immediately after Mowhoush's death was reported, U.S. military officials released a statement acknowledging he died during an interview.

"Mowhoush said he didn't feel well and subsequently lost consciousness," read the press statement, which is still posted on a Pentagon website. "The soldier questioning him found no pulse, then conducted CPR and called for medical authorities. According to the on-site surgeon, it appeared Mowhouse died of natural causes."

Geneva Convention, anyone?

Thanks to Empire Notes for the lead to the Denver Post article.
Revised Arab Interrogation Guidelines

In the wake of the growing scandal over prisoner abuse in the Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq, Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced new guidelines for the interrogation of Iraqi/Arab prisoners.

Among them are changes in the punitive feminization of prisoners. Instead of addressing bra and panty-clad prisoners as "my bitch" or "little slut", interrogators must use phrases such as "missus" and/or "milady"

Who says this isn't a kinder, more compassionate conservatism?? Eh?!


Is Jihad Already McJihad?

It is if you are Slovenian pop philosopher Slavoj Zizek, who asks In These Times the 25,000 Euro question, at the brink of the expansion of the EU, What Does Europe Want?

"How many fanatical defenders of religion started by ferociously attacking the contemporary secular culture and ended up forsaking any meaningful religious experience? In a similar way, many liberal warriors are so eager to fight anti-democratic fundamentalism that they will end by flinging away freedom and democracy themselves if only they may fight terror. They have such a passion for proving that non-Christian fundamentalism is the main threat to freedom that they are ready to fall
back on the position that we have to limit our own freedom here and now, in our allegedly Christian societies. If the "terrorists" are ready to wreck this world for love of another world, our warriors on terror are ready to wreck their own democratic world out of hatred for the Muslim other. Some of them love human dignity so much that they are ready to legalize torture, the ultimate degradation of human dignity,to defend it."

dinsdag, mei 18, 2004


Not that anyone was really expecting the June 30th sham of a transfer of power to go off smoothly but so far, after yesterday's suicide bombing, they won't have Izzadine Saleem, president of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, to kick around any more.

Saleem's murder set off the typical, blustering cliches of business as usual and nothing getting "derailed" and "staying the course" from all of our favourite sources of bluster and cliches, the Bush Admin and the Blair Conspiracy. It even touched off a tumbling of the Almighty Dollar.

"The Governing Council ... has not been intimidated, it has not been defeated," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said in an appearance at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, happy to find something else other than abused prisoners to talk about. Talk about your rose coloured glasses. Whew. In addition, the Bush administration insists abuse in Abu Ghraib prison, shown in images published around the world, was confined to low-level guards, though the Red Cross said it was systematic.

The latest allegations came from the New Yorker magazine, which said abuses resulted from a secret plan approved by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for tougher interrogation methods in the U.S. "war on terror".

Citing current and former U.S. intelligence officials, the report said tougher questioning was part of a plan giving prior approval to kill, capture or interrogate terrorist leaders.

The Bush administration naturally derided the report, called Hirsch, the other of the report, a "terrorist and intellectual thug" and the Pentagon said the abuses had not been sanctioned. Nobody knew about it. Just the prison guards, who talk it up all on their own without any hints or prods or orders from the higher ups.

European Union foreign ministers were set to condemn the abuses, according to a draft text obtained by Reuters. "Such actions are contrary to international law," it said.

Well, Tony Blair didn't say that. He was too busy fighting off his own full blown crisis at home.

The Prime Minister was given the stark ultimatum to find an urgent "exit strategy" for our troops or risk being forced out of office. One of Mr Blair's loyal allies has warned that the PM faces the stark possibility of being "last man standing" if President Bush is thrown out of the White House in the November election.

But this recent killing won't deter him in the slightest because he is a man of "resolve" and with "no reverse".

Prime Poodle Blair says the suicide bombing and subsequent killing will not deter the coalition from its work in Iraq. As he puts it, "there will be no cutting and running."

There will be no cutting and running - you hear that terrorist dogs? You haven't scared Tony Blair one bit and Rummy and President Jesus Bush aren't scared neither!

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw adds the murder won't stop the June 30th transfer of power to the Iraqis.

Not this one anyway.

vrijdag, mei 14, 2004

Chop, Chop

The high cost of being a Bush supporter was driven home to Nick Berg a few days ago when, after one of a group of masked men who were presumably, not part of the President Jesus Bush fan club, read out a statement, they pushed Berg to the floor and shouted "God is greatest" above his screams as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a top ally of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden of them sawed his head off with a large knife then held it aloft for the camera.

Berg was a supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and of Bush administration policy. Well done.

Gruesome? Psshaw. One dead, dumb American who voluntarily went to a war zone like Iraq to "find work" and because he wanted to lend support to Bush's idiotic policy of invasion and destruction. Now multiply it by tens of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians, killed as a result of the American invasion, people who didn't "volunteer" to live in the middle of a war zone but who had it brought to them to "save" them from the morally bankrupt leadership of Saddam Hussein and to give them puppet leaders of a morally bankrupt American government, and then maybe we can strike up the violins.

In case you haven't seen it and want to, the video, as well as stills and stories, are provided by Information Clearning House.

As Kurt Vonnegut notes in Cold Turkey:

"One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us."


Save The Truth!

In an unrelated event, Stratford Upon Avon - The Truth announced it's last post on Wednesday.

"Owing to the never-ending search for spondolicks plus the nut-crunching pressure I’m experiencing from Mrs G and her iron fist in a velvet glove, I think the time has come to give my baby, ‘Stratford upon Avon – The Truth’ a much needed rest."

We hope this is a temporary aberration, a moment of frustration or temporary insanity, but if not, hurry and get a final look as the site will only be up for another week.

maandag, mei 10, 2004


Prime Minister "didn't know" there was a war in Iraq


Tony Blair today denied that he or his ministers knew
about "a war in Iraq" or that British troops were even
in Iraq, before they read about them in the

Speaking ahead of this afternoon's Commons statement
on the issue from the defence secretary, Geoff Hoon,
the prime minister insisted that all allegations of
British troops being involved in an invasion of Iraq
have been either "fully investigated or are being

He told reporters at the launch of Labour's European
election campaign that there was "absolutely no basis"
for the allegation that there are British troops in
Iraq, adding that the idea sounded "very much" like
some sort of Tory Conspiracy to upset the apple cart
of the referendum on the EU Constitution.

Mr Blair's comments come after he apologised to any
Iraqi people who may have been "killed or mistreated"
by these fictitious British troops on French
television last night and amid speculation about when
ministers were told of the abuse allegations.

The International Committee of the Red Cross [ICRC]
and Amnesty International both insisted yesterday that
they had passed on their concerns about evidence of an
invasion more than a year ago.

Briefing reporters after this morning's press
conference, Mr Blair's official spokesman insisted
that the prime minister did not know about any
invasion of Iraq by British troops "or anyone else".

"He did not know. These issues were dealt with at an
operational level,"
he said "Our prime minister is not
in charge of every soldier in this country, nor in
charge of every country being invaded on earth. These
are matters that are dealt with at an appropriate

"We have reported to the people who were in charge of
these countries and they know and they need to take
measures and make serious inquiries if there were
reports of invasion,"
she said.

The prime minister went on: "All I ask people to do is
to remember that the majority of British troops are
not really British troops and we seriously doubt
whether there is even a country called Iraq to begin
with. I am as disgusted as anyone else by these
allegations that have been made."

More apropos at the moment:

John Berryman's Dream Song 74

Henry hates the world. What the world to Henry
did will not bear thought.
Feeling no pain,
Henry stabbed his arm and wrote a letter
explaining how bad it had been
in this world.

Old yellow, in a gown
might have made a difference, ‘these lower beauties’,
and chartreuse could have mattered.

“Kyoto, Toledo,
Benares–the holy cities–
and Cambridge shimmering do not make up
for, well, the horror of unlove,
nor south from Paris driving in the Spring
to Siena and on . . .”

Pulling together Henry, somber Henry
woofed at things.
Spry dissapointments of men
and vicing adorable children
miserable women, Henry mastered, Henry
tasting all the secret bits of life.

zondag, mei 09, 2004

Advice of the Day

"I sometimes get emails asking me to propose solutions or make suggestions. Fine. Today's lesson: don't rape, don't torture, don't kill and get out while you can- while it still looks like you have a choice... Chaos? Civil war? Bloodshed? We’ll take our chances- just take your Puppets, your tanks, your smart weapons, your dumb politicians, your lies, your empty promises, your rapists, your sadistic torturers and go." - via Riverbend, the girl blog from Iraq, Baghdad Burning

Worthwhile links:

Many works of writing literature available at Read Print via Maud Newton

For hours of ridiculous fun, baseball via Ultimate Insult.

Graphic rendering of the The main difference between Europe and the USA via Uren.Dagen.Nachten.

Salinger "Uncollected Writings" via leftblank


No kinda Victory Day celebration I've ever heard of. The Kremlin-backed president of Russia's warring Chechnya region and a top Russian general were killed Sunday when an explosion tore through a stadium in the Chechen capital where they were attending World War II observances, the republic's Interior Ministry said.

More photos of isolated incidences via Empire Notes

Better still, The Beast has spoken:

"People ought to get off his case and let him do his job," Oil Baron and Chairman Bloodsucker Prick Cheney demanded of people getting on the case of Donald Rumsfeld simply because he is the figurehead of the Pentagon responsible for the murder, rape and torture of Iraqi prisoners. Silly liberals. Can't you see? You're tying his hands! The terrorists are winning if you keep complaining! Get off his case already, kids! Go and do your homework!

Oh where art thou, new edition of Get Your War On? It's been more than two weeks!

zaterdag, mei 08, 2004

Bush: Prison Scandal Is A Fiction

WASHINGTON -- The abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American military guards is "a story made up by terrorists, thugs, and murderers: complete fiction" and will not deter America's mission to bring destruction to Iraq's "criminal element", President Bush pledged Saturday.

The president said the murder, rape, abuse and sexual humiliation of prisoners in Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison "the result of the active imagination of our enemies" and should not reflect on the thousands of U.S. military personnel "who are serving and sacrificing in Iraq."

"Our mission in Iraq will continue," Bush said in his weekly radio address. "Killing in the name of Jesus and Democracy been berry, berry good to me."

"We have no intention of leaving the nation at the mercy of thugs and murderers. We're determined to help build a free and stable Iraq, a nation that loves Jesus as much as I do and is at peace with its neighbors and with the world," said Bush.

Bush, who earlier in the week apologized for the abuse of the Iraqi prisoners that didn't happen just in case it might become too confusing to contemplate the vast differences between Saddam torturing and murdering Iraqis and Americans torturing and murdering Iraqis, indicated that punishment arising from the prison incident will go beyond the seven members of the Army Reserve's 372nd Military Police Company already charged by the military.

"We will learn all the facts and determine the full extent of these fictions from reading the Bible" said Bush. "Those involved will be identified. They will answer to Jesus for their actions." He said all prison operations in Iraq will be reviewed "to make certain that nothing hypocritical, like torturing and killing Iraqis to save Iraqis from being tortured and killed by Saddam instead, are disgraceful incidents never to be repeated because they never happened in the first place."

Bush reiterated the photographs of naked prisoners being humiliated by U.S. soldiers "were the work of terrorists, thugs, and murderers photoshopping innocent pictures to make brave American soldiers look like sadists and murderers instead of the real sadist and murderer, the evil dictator, Saddam Hussein."

"Saddam is a stain on Iraq's honor and reputation," said the president in his radio address. "You are getting veeeery sleepy..."

Noting that only 700 Americans have died in Iraq, Bush said, "We still have a long way to go to show the true character of America."

Despite "a difficult few weeks ... our forces will stay on the offensive, finding and confronting the killers and terrorists who are trying to undermine the progress of democracy in Iraq," said Bush.

Yeah, we're gonna wup 'em good.


Top Ten Things About The Czech Republic That Had To Be Kept Secret Before Joining the EU via the incessantly interesting The Daily Czech

10. The name for Mission Impossible was invented when 10 crew trailers were stolen in Prague.
9. John Kerry's ancestors were Czechs. [Oops, this secret's out already]
8. Eighty-five percent of all Czech Windows XP installation CDs were produced in a garage of a guy named Skippy.
7. Fifty U.S. expats named Bush living in Prague, whose IQ is triple as that of George W. Bush.
6. Chinese restaurants are almost exclusively owned by Vietnamese.
5. Incident in Three Mile Island several years ago was caused by a Czech intern who spilled a cup of coffee.
4. Carmen Sandiego lives in Prague and works as a hooker.
3. Czech beer is the only one that doesn't have to be hidden in a paper bag.
2. In order to improve the U.S. budget, the U.S. government recently sold the whole Rhode Island to Czechs.
1. George W. Bush's ancestors, Adam and Eve, were Czechs


'I Feel Terrible We Got Caught'
Excerpts from opening remarks by Donald Rumcake

Excerpts from Defense Secretary Donald Rumcake's opening remarks before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington on Friday:

"I feel terrible that people with cameras had to go and let the world know what happened to these Iraqi detainees. They are human beings, but Iraqi human beings. Not even real human beings actually, but thugs and criminals and terrorists. They were in U.S. custody. Our country had an obligation to treat them right. We didn't, and we got caught. Getting caught was wrong."

"I deeply regret the damage that has been done. First to the reputation of the honorable men and women of the armed forces, who are naively, courageously and responsibly and professionally defending a few families' freedoms to make enormous profits from war mongering across the globe. They are truly wonderful human beings. And their families and their loved ones can be enormously proud of them. They were really brave. It takes alot of courage to abuse your fellow human beings but Iraqis are not really human. They are beneath human. More like human excrement. But they should have Democracy anyway. Because not all Iraqis are human excrement. Some of them are worthy of being our puppets.

"To ensure we have a handle on the scope of this catastrophe, I will be announcing today the appointment of several senior former officials who are being asked to shuffle more papers and pretend to examine the pace, the breadth, the thoroughness of the existing investigations and to determine whether additional investigations or studies need to be initiated so that we can make studies of studies of studies and toss so much paperwork and phony investigations that we can bury the issue at hand altogether"

"I'm seeking a way to provide appropriate compensation to those detainees who suffered such grievous and brutal abuse and cruelty at the hands of a few members of the United States armed forces. We think they should have an extra half hour of electricity per week and be allowed to put their clothes back on. It's the right thing to do."

"There are many more photographs, and indeed some videos. Congress and the American people and the rest of the world need to know this. In addition, the photos give these incidents a vividness, indeed a horror, in the eyes of the world."

"Mr. Chairman, I know you join me today in saying to the world, judge us by our actions, not our words watch how Americans, watch how a democracy deals with the wrongdoing and with scandal and the pain of acknowledging and correcting our own mistakes and our own weaknesses. See how real power remains untouched. See how scapegoats are made. "

"We say to the world, we will strive to do our best, as imperfect as it may be, so long as doing so benefits the elements of our Administration. Now we can add torture and abuse to our war crimes list"


In case you were wondering, according to What turns the land of Kama Sutra on:

"Never mind that India's first outing in the global sex league showed it to be the third most chaste country on the planet. And never mind that Indians languished near the bottom of the league table when it came to the number of times a year they had sex (116,while the French led with 167). Never mind too that only a 17% sliver of Indians agreed it would be bliss to jump into bed with an attractive date on the very first night."

No wonder the population of India is so small and increasingly at risk of disappearing.


No longer beating around the Bush, The Economist demands Resign Rumsfeld. They dedicate their entire cover to it.

"Moreover, the abuse of these prisoners is not the only damaging error that has been made and it forms part of a culture of extra-legal behaviour that has been set at the highest level. Responsibility for what has occurred needs to be taken?and to be seen to be taken?at the highest level too. It is plain what that means. The secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld, should resign. And if he won't resign, Mr Bush should fire him."


Well, it looks as though Ajaria is once again a vacationland paradise. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili imposed direct presidential control over the region on 5 May 2004. Hours later the Ajarian leader Aslan Abashidze resigned, ending more than a decade in power by flying, with his family, to Russia.

dinsdag, mei 04, 2004

A Poppy

We are very busy here in the offices of Desultory Turgescence these days. We endeavor to build a 50 foot high paper mache cut out of Jesus. In the meantime,

this is one of the more interesting bits of the day...